Site Meter Chris Seddon :: Illustrator :: Blog: Using Downtime Creatively

Monday, August 24, 2009

Using Downtime Creatively

Have you ever been stuck somewhere unexpectedly? The airport, the train, a long meeting? Well, I found myself in just such a situation this past Friday.
Usually during times like these I find myself doodling. I even came up with an illustration idea I will unveil later in the week. However, this time after some idle doodling, I decided to focus on rebranding the computer lab where I work.
The lab has recently changed its name from the "Mac CAD Lab" to the "Design Lab" so I wrote down the words and started brainstorming. I jotted down some words and drew some quick sketches that evoked "lab" "tech" and "design". I drew a variety of keyboards, monitors, test tubes, beakers and mice.
I settled on the concept of a mouse to represent both "tech" and "design". It was more simple graphically than many of the other objects and better represents the creative connection to the computer than other peripherals.
To signify "lab" I thought of a variety of chemistry glassware, but an erlenmeyer flask seemed the most interesting graphically.
The concept of a mouse in the flask seemed like a natural way to combine the two elements. I further refined the concept with some additional sketches, eventually settling on a somewhat stylized mouse silhouetted in a dark flask.
After a short while playing with that concept I noticed the flask could make an ideal "A" in the word "LAB" and sketched out some very rough treatments.
At this point my "downtime" ended. It was time to move on and get back to work. So I tucked my work away and headed back to my office to do other things.
Tomorrow, I'll share the complete design, and how I used Facebook to get design critiques and generally save time in refining the final product.

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